Why not Kingston?

Old Oct 25th, 2002, 01:01 PM
  #1  
Maccajukya
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Why not Kingston?

Everybody keeps telling me to stay away from Kingston. Can you be more specific? There are lots of places I've been that people say are dangerous - but why Kingston more so??

We are white, but my father was raised there and would like to see how it has changed, but will heed your warnings if necessary.

Is it worse than walking through NYC parts at night, LA, or areas in New Orleans or London at night??

Please let me know - I will listen.
 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 01:02 PM
  #2  
Puhleez
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He's baaaaaaaaaaack.
 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 01:05 PM
  #3  
Maccajukya
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no really - "he's" not......

I'm a woman, and I really AM going there in April - really do want some advice please.......
 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 02:46 PM
  #4  
Val
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On the basis that you are genuine, I will respond by saying that in MY experience, I spent time on three occassions in Kingston visiting friends and on each occassion I felt safe. Alot of my journeying around was by car with friends but we did not have to limit ourselves as to where we went because it was "unsafe". We roamed freely. I must admit that my friends' house had alot of burglar bars and locks on the doors but this is not the only place I have been to and seen that. We went all over Kingston during the days, partied in Beverly Hills, Stoney Hill etc at night with the bourgousie crowd of JA and really had a good time. On one of my more recent trips, I was visiting a friend who worked during the day so I was on my own alot. I walked around New Kinsgton on my own and felt no threats whatsoever - and it was'nt as if I was gripping my handbag close to my body to ensure that no one grabbed it. To be honest, I was holding on to my handbag more tightly on my recent trip to NYC. So to me the bottom line is your attitude. There is no need to be paranoid. Be aware, use your common sense, stick to the main popular areas of the town, be friendly and respectful, of course do not go walking the streets alone at night...just as you would behave in your hometown is how you should behave in Kingston and you will be fine.

One last word - make sure you go to Hellshire beach for the fried fish and festival - it is beyond delicious. You will also get to mingle with some interesting Jamaican folk there. Enjoy!
 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 03:17 PM
  #5  
Maccajukya
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Are there specific areas you would avoid, or hotels that you wouldn't stay in?? What if we stayed elsewhere and made a day trip to Kingston - worried that one day won't be enough.... what do you think? Also, since you've been more than once, where would you say I 'shouldn't miss'??? Thank you for your help.
 
Old Oct 26th, 2002, 12:09 PM
  #6  
Val
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I cannot really pinpoint any specific areas that are particularly dangerous in Kingston - I would just reiterate that you should use your good judgement as you wonder about and if possible wonder around at least in pairs or more. Places of interest that I enjoyed and think you should take in include the National Gallery of Arts which houses Jamaica's art collection, the Kingston Craft Market to browse and pick up souvenirs, the Bob Marley Museum, Devon House which is a popular shopping and resturant complex - you can get some lovely and unique Jamaican souvenirs there. Quite apart from this, I attended a Jamaican pantomine one night on my second visit to Kingston and also went to a few plays put on by some of the local theatre groups - tons of fun. There is alot of culture to be had in Jamaica - the people are super talented and are very proud of their culture and it comes through in their performances. If you are able to do so, you should try to see a performance of the National Dance Theate or the Jamaica Folk Singers. But there are lots of other folk groups, dance groups and theatre groups around and there is always a performance that you can see in the evenings. One of the things that I love so much about JA.

For eating, one place in Kingston stands out in my mind and that is the Fish Place on Constant Spring Road. Ate there a few times because it was so good. Laid back atmosphere. The fish tea as an appetizer and the escheviche fish (red snapper) - absolutely melt in your mouth good. And for local Jamaican fast food, you must try Jamrock which is in New Kingston on Knutsford Blvd which is one of the major thoroughfares in New Kingston. Its has a sportsbar type atmosphere and serves all of the popular local fare. Very good. Then there is a local "watering hole" of sorts called Peppers (I assume it is still there) that is very popular on a Friday night - you can go there for drinks and jerk chicken and mingle with the suit and tie local crowd - very nice. I did not eat out a whole lot in Kingston because the people I hung out with were such good cooks and always wanted me to sample their food - if you are staying with a Jamaican family you will find this to be the case - they spoil you with their hospitality and warmth.
 
Old Oct 26th, 2002, 04:31 PM
  #7  
RichF
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I don't recomend going to Kingston as a vacation! Why even bother, don't do it!

While Kingston is nice, charming and relatively safe, it is not a typical vacation spot! There are not as many historical points of interest as San Jaun and Santo Domingo. The only beach, Hellshire beach, is no where as nice as the Negril or the north shore. Don't go to Kingston for culture, since you can get real Jamiacan culture, almost anywhere else, like Ocho Rios and Mobay. Again, don't bother with Kingston - Go to NEGRIL instead!
 
Old Oct 27th, 2002, 07:16 AM
  #8  
Eric
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I've been to Kingston. I'll give you the same advice I would give any tourist to the USA... Why go to the cities ??? For example, if you were visiting New York State, I would urge you to visit any place OTHER than NYC (i.e. the mountains, the countryside, the lakes, and little towns, etc.) If you really want to experience life in Jamaica - go to the countryside (Negril, Treasure Beach, etc.)

Eric
 
Old Oct 27th, 2002, 08:05 AM
  #9  
Maccajukya
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Only staying there one night out of ten - my father grew up there. Want to see what all the fuss is about......
 
Old Oct 27th, 2002, 09:58 AM
  #10  
Val
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Eric and RichF: it is sad that you would try to sway this poster from visiting Kingston - typical American attitudes...is a vacation supposed to be about a beach and a beach alone? Jamaica is more than just Negril Eric! You need to try to consider broadening your horizons a bit and being a little bit more open-minded - not everyone wants to see the north coast of jamaica only - just a whole lot of sameness in my opinion - and in the case of Maccajukya, her roots are in Jamaica so in a sense she is "going home". Give her a chance to discover the real Jamaica instead of advising her to stick to the common tourist areas with like the rest of the unadventurous sorts.

Maccajukya, you do your thing! By all means, go along and spend at least a couple of days in Kingston - and enjoy!
 
Old Oct 27th, 2002, 11:52 AM
  #11  
xxx
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It's amazing- Gosh, People have different likes and dislikes! Everyone I know who doesn't like Jamaica has seen it only from a cruise ship or AI. Jamaica is delightful, ALL of it. Have a wonderful time and keep an open mind!
 
Old Oct 27th, 2002, 02:19 PM
  #12  
Val
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How very perceptive of you Sean! Yes I am a tad bit peeved at some of the responses to this post and I make no apologies for this. I took exception to some of Eric and RichT's views and expressed myself in a frank and forthright manner - my perogative, don't you think? And I do not think I was being any more disagreeable than RichT who boldly stated " don't recomend going to Kingston as a vacation! Why even bother, don't do it!" Do you find that sort of attitude more acceptable??

I take my hat off to and commend Maccajukya for at least expressing an interest in doing something different in Jamaica and really hope that she does take some time to explore Kingston. Her experience will be all the more richer for it.
 
Old Oct 27th, 2002, 02:42 PM
  #13  
Maccajukya
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Itinerary is set, friends! Thank you for your imput. 3 days in a small inn near Ocho Rios, 2 days again in a small inn in Port Antonio, and a night in Kingston, and 3 in an island estate recommended here by tiverton!! Looking forward to the drive through the countryside and stopping at some local pubs, which I hear are magnificent!! Hey, as they say: Dog have money - dog buy cheese!!

VERY grateful for your comments - I'll let you know when I get back (if I'm still alive, RichF!!! )

Cheerio!
 
Old Oct 28th, 2002, 06:19 PM
  #14  
RichF
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Wow, is guess my comments were taken too harshly. First of all, Maccajkya, I did not know that you had friends in Kingston - sure go visit them, cool!

I enjoy Kingston, and always have a good time. I also have friends and family there. However, the city is somewhat hard to navigate via maps. It doesn't offer much vacation in term of historical landmarks (forts and churches), modern museums, aquariums, a/c public buses, etc. Then again it's the Caribbean, go enjoy and explore. I could tell you not the typical Fodors poster, who is so enamored with St. John, Anguilla, Cayman and Provo. Let us all know about your trip.
 
Old Oct 29th, 2002, 04:24 AM
  #15  
Vet
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I just know I'll get reamed for voicing this, but I have always wanted to go to Jamaica but it seems that this one Island gets more passionate responses pro and con than any of the others combined! THe crime thing constantly pops up. I have been a reader of the Jamaica Gleaner for a few months and the problems that exist with the government, police, thugs, and drug dealers is amazing. Todays headlines are especially chilling. YES I am aware of the problems we face in America and that saddens me greatly also. I only know that If I make a descision to travel and research beforehand I just can't help but wonder and be concerned about the destination if I am constantly deluged with all this! I read where people say the tourists are "walled up" in their resorts and don't want to get out and experience the real Jamaica. But then I read what goes on and wouldn't the average person be concerned? Just the mention of this and people are berated. I for one as a avid traveler am so confused that I guess we've come to the point in this world where concern and confusion reigns, warranted or not. Sad.
 
Old Oct 29th, 2002, 07:49 AM
  #16  
Maccajukya
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Hi RichF!
Your comments were not taken harshly - In fact I truly appreciate you taking the time to help. If anything, we will certainly be more careful and on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary.

The comment about coming back alive was in jest, I hope you don't take it the wrong way!! Yes, I do have family in Kingston, and my father grew up there and would like to see how it has changed - I'm sure it will be startling!! Thank you so much for your concern!
 
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